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Five Guys Hamburgers vs. Bootsies

I stopped by for lunch the other day. Five Guys is located on Chestnut near 15th St. It is a typical fast food joint, but the hamburger was wonderful! It was cooked fresh, but not to order, all well done, but very juicy. You can have as many toppings as you like for no charge and the roll was also fresh. I was really surprised by the quality and the price. I then tried Bootsie's which just opened on 19th St across from Matyson between Market and Chestnut. They also make their hamburgers fresh, but all toppings are extra and pricey. I had a cheeseburger with carmelized onions and it cost me 8.61 and it was not nearly as good as Five Guys. For that kind of money, I will go to Loie for my hamburger. Qdoba Grille looks like it is getting ready to open. I cant wait!

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  1. Five guys is definitely a good burger and fries too. I don't want to hear the chain bashing on this one. It's one of the best burgers in the city, especially for it's price. I was very happy when I saw they were coming to town. Like pizza, I think there is a lack of good burgers in Philly, but I guess we can't have all the culinary gems.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Tonyjlive

      Lack of good burger in this city? Really? Boy oh boy do I disagree. Have you tried Monk's offerings (trappist burger - goat cheese, lettuce, tomato)? Fantastic. Other notable burgers.....The South Philly Taproom, Union Jacks in Glenside, The standard burger at The Standard Tap. I suspect there are others, but I don't eat burgers exclusively. And BTW chain restaurants should ALWAYS be avioded when there are fantastic local joints to frequent. Five guys may have a stellar burger, but as long as my dollar ultimately ends up in the pocket of some dude in Seattle or Chicago, or Atlanta or Dallas or Dubai or Frankfurt or somewhere else other than our fair greater metro area, I try to avoid. Eating at a chain is like a Philly native rooting for the Cowboys, it's hard to defend (when we have a.....ahem.....perfectly good team to root for here). I say this at the risk of sounding like someone on their high horse.......Oh well, I can take the criticism.

      1. re: G Goo

        Agreed. A little ways down the board is my thread about the desperate search for decent pizza here, but - on the other hand - I think Philly is sort of burger heaven. My very first meal as a Philadelphian was at Monk's at 1a.m. after lugging our belongings up four flights. We picked Monk's almost at random - basically, because it was open - and I was amazed to find myself eating a really brilliant hamburger (the Monk's - leeks and blue cheese). Since then I feel like I've discovered dozens of outstanding hamburgers - spanning many different styles - at places like the Sidecar, Grace Tavern (spotty, but often terrific), the New Wave, and The Dutch Eating Place in the RTM.

        We may be a bit pizza-deprived here in Philly, but burger-wise I think we have an embarrassment of riches.

        1. re: GDSwamp

          I don't think we're exactly pizza-deprived. Just in my neighborhood alone, I have two pizza places I love, Gianfranco and Soho.

          I completely agree, though, that we have an abundance of fabulous burgers--like Good Dog, Society Hill Hotel, Serrano, Black Door (just had their bison burger the other night--oh wow).

        2. re: G Goo

          Thanks for the recc of Union Jack's - walked by several times, and didn't even know they served food! Will try them on our next trip to the Keswick!

          Completely agree about eating at chains - we are so blessed that we don't HAVE to eat at chains here!

          1. re: Patiod

            One warning about Union Jack's; it gets very very smoky. They have a deck out back so you can avoid the smoke, at least in the warmer months. I'd eat there more often if it weren't for the smoke. It's unfortunate b/c they have stellar pub grub. Excellent beer selection also.

            1. re: G Goo

              Their wings are really good too.....

      2. This place called Uncle Sam's, I guess a chain, open near me. Great bacon cheeseburger on a hogie roll, fries, and soft drink for about seven fifty. Yo, Tonyjive - your other post didn't last long enough for me to get my two line reply down. TeeHee

        1. Bootsie's will make you a burger medium rare if it's not too busy. Try THAT at Five Guy's ....

          1 Reply
          1. re: phillyjazz

            Medium rare......is there any other way to have a burger?

            Is Bootsie's a chain or a local joint?

          2. I tried a Five Guys over the weekend and it was mighty tasty (and a magnificent hangover cure, incidentally). I got the bacon cheeseburger with lettuce, onions, mayo, ketchup, raw onions and jalapenos. Mmmm..

            Then, last night, I once again went to get the medium rare Good Dog burger and as the liquefied roquefort dribbled down my chin I remembered that thou shalt have no other burger gods before thee, oh good dog.

            2 Replies
            1. re: joypirate

              Is there still smoking at Good Dog? Been dying to try their burgers but don't want to die while eating it. Five Guys makes a very decent burger and fries... their cheese is crap tho.

            2. Also had a great burger a few weeks back at North 3rd. The fries-fresh cut, boardwalk style- were phenomenal too.

              I'm curious about Loie's burger and other more "upscale" places, outside of the well known Rouge/Barclay Prime, etc.

              1 Reply
              1. re: JCap

                Loies has a new chef so perhaps its improved but previously I wouldn't let my dog eat there. Especially after having a conversation with a fellow dog owner in Rittenhouse Sq who had BEEN the chef at Loie's and resigned-said the owner cared only about drinkers. Since he also owns Drinkers and other bars in the area, food is clearly an afterthought based on the crowds of frat boys.

                Bootsie's has some excellent sausages as well as Burgers. They are on Le Bus rolls and the chicken and apple and chicken and wine are VERY flavorful.

              2. Bootsie's has one store, owned by an Israeli immigrant with a "silent partner" in NY who is involved in the Soap Opera business. It's a pretty unique concept, at least, here, and the food really is a pretty good quality. They have plans to franchise.

                I'll admit Five Guys makes good fries, but I think the corporate litigation-fearing mentality requires them to cook all burgers well-done. They are certainly greasy enough not to be dry, but they lack flavor compared to Bootsie's.

                1 Reply
                1. re: phillyjazz

                  Bootsies was virtually empty the day I went by at lunch. What AMAZES me is the ad budget! They have TWO HUGH billboard on I-676 (Vine St Xpresway) and they have had FULL page ads in the Inquirer at least THREE times. You'd think the place was huge!

                  Haven't had a Five Guys burger yet as I no longer work in CC but I did stop in to see it and the free peanuts are a real bonus!

                  Steve R

                2. Agreed, everytime I walk by Bootsie's it's empty. This has been my observation everytime for about 10-15 times now. Usually in the early evening.

                  1. I'm an anti-chain nazi, but I make the exception for 5 Guys. It's as close as this city will ever get to an In-N-Out.

                    I love the Monk's burger (which you can get at Nodding Head also) and it's rare that I can avoid the gravitational pull of the burger when I'm at the Standard Tap. But when I want to spend 8 bucks for a burger (without leaving a tip), 5 Guys is the hands down winner.

                    It's in my weekly rotation, and this from a guy who doesn't consider any CC cheesesteak acceptable.